Yobo announces Nigeria retirement

The 33-year-old, who made a record 100th appearance for the Super Eagles against France on Monday, is calling time on his international career to focus on his family
By Lolade Adewuyi in Brasilia

Nigeria captain Joseph Yobo has announced his retirement from the national side after the Super Eagles fell to a 2-0 defeat against France in the World Cup round of 16.

The 33-year-old became the first Nigerian to play 100 international matches on Monday but his day ended on a sour note with an own goal in added time against Les Bleus.

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"It was a bittersweet moment for me but I think it is time to focus on my family," Yobo told reporters. "It has been a long road."

Yobo made his debut in 2001 and became a mainstay of the team during World Cup 2002 in Japan and South Korea. He played at three World Cups and captained Nigeria to the Africa Cup of Nations title in 2013.

"We've won the African Nations Cup and we came here and were not disgraced," said the Fenerbahce man. "I never thought that I'd be here because I missed the last six games of the season through injury. They gave me an opportunity but it is unfortunate what happened.

"I gave my all."

Yobo believes that he is leaving the national team in capable hands, with defenders Kenneth Omeruo and Godfrey Oboabona able to continue in his place.

"They will grow," he added. "Omeruo has done very well. Oboabona was injured but he got his chance at the Nations Cup. They're going to get better, the experience is going to come and one of them has to take the responsibility and be a leader."